General info about Fruit
Asparagus officinalis is a plant species in the family Asparagaceae from which the popular vegetable known as asparagus is obtained.
Asparagus has been used from very early times as a culinary vegetable, owing to its delicate flavour and diuretic properties. There is a recipe for cooking asparagus in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s 3rd century AD De re coquinaria, Book III.
Ways to prepare and serve the Fruit
Edible Parts: Stem.
Edible Uses: Coffee.
Young shoots - raw or cooked. Considered a gourmet food, the shoots are harvested in the spring. We find them very acceptable raw in salads, with a hint of onion in their flavou. They are normally boiled or steamed and used as a vegetabl. Male plants produce the best shoot. Do not over-harvest the plant because this would weaken it in the following year. The shoots are a good source of protein and dietary fibre. Roasted seeds are a coffee substitute.
Health Benefits and Warnings of eating Fruit
Antibiotic; Antispasmodic; Aperient; Cancer; Cardiac; Demulcent; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Laxative; Sedative; Tonic.
Asparagus has been cultivated for over 2,000 years as a vegetable and medicinal herb. Both the roots and the shoots can be used medicinally, they have a restorative and cleansing effect on the bowels, kidneys and liver. The plant is antispasmodic, aperient, cardiac, demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative and tonic. The freshly expressed juice is use. The root is diaphoretic, strongly diuretic and laxativ. An infusion is used in the treatment of jaundice and congestive torpor of the live. The strongly diuretic action of the roots make it useful in the treatment of a variety of urinary problems including cystitis. It is also used in the treatment of cancer. The roots are said to be able to lower blood pressure. The roots are harvested in late spring, after the shoots have been cut as a food crop, and are dried for later use. The seeds possess antibiotic activity. Another report says that the plant contains asparagusic acid which is nematocidal and is used in the treatment of schistosomiasis.
Jersey Knight: an all-male variety (means more shoots), hardy and disease-resistant.
Larac: French variety famed for delicate flavor.
Purple Passion: purple variety, hardy
Recipes made mainly with this Fruit
Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Stem (Fresh weight)
26 Calories per 100g
Protein: 2.5g; Fat: 0.2g; Carbohydrate: 5g; Fibre: 0.7g; Ash: 0.6g;
Minerals - Calcium: 22mg; Phosphorus: 62mg; Iron: 1mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 2mg; Potassium: 278mg; Zinc: 0mg;
Vitamins - A: 540mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.18mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.2mg; Niacin: 1.5mg; B6: 0mg; C: 33mg;
The major product of asparagus are the tender young shoots (spears) which are eaten lightly cooked. The spears are also processed either by canning (or bottling) in brine or by deep-freezing. They are grown either naturally as green asparagus or in the dark as white asparagus, the crop has a very short season in the spring but can be forced in polytunnels. In any event they are usually cut when 18–25 cm tall. Green spears should be all green and white spears all white, but harvest of the in-between stage is also practiced. It is normal to peel the white spears prior to cooking, whereas the green ones are normally eaten unpeeled and only the lower fibrous part of the spears in the in-between stage is peeled.
The shoots are usually boiled or steamed and served with hollandaise sauce, melted butter or olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Tall asparagus cooking pots allow the shoots to be steamed gently. Cantonese restaurants in the United States often serve asparagus stir-fried with chicken, shrimp, or beef, also wrapped in bacon. Asparagus may also be quickly grilled over charcoal or hardwood embers.
The first pickings or ‘thinnings’ are known as sprue or sprue asperagus. Sprue have thin stems.